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Latest News / Jul 23, 2014 / 2:00 pm

Report: Bulls Offering Gibson, McDermott, Mirotic to ‘Wolves For Love

Taj Gibson

Taj Gibson (Marilyn Indahl, USATODAY)

Terms of the Chicago Bulls’ trade offer to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love have emerged. According to Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops, the Bulls are willing to surrender Taj Gibson and rookies Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic if it nets them Love.

Of crucial note in Sheridan’s report is that the ‘Wolves prefer Chicago’s trade package to that of the Cleveland Cavaliers’, which is said to include Andrew Wiggins.

The Chicago Bulls have offered a package of Taj Gibson and rookies Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic to the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star forward Kevin Love, a league source told SheridanHoops.com on Wednesday.

The package is extremely intriguing to the Timberwolves, but there is a catch; it cannot be completed for another 29 days because McDermott and Mirotic signed their rookie contracts Tuesday. NBA rules prohibit rookies from being traded within the first 30 days of inking their rookie deals…

The source who spoke to SheridanHoops said he believed the Bulls’ offer was better in the minds of the Wolves than the Cavs’ current offer of Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick.

But if Cleveland is willing to include a second future first-round pick – it owns the rights to Miami’s first-rounder as well as Memphis’ in 2015) – that might be enough to trump Chicago’s offer.

We wrote on the Cavs’ unwillingness to add future first-rounders to their offer for Love yesterday under the idea that Wiggins was off the table. Multiple reports have since surfaced otherwise, though, lending credence to Cleveland’s firm stance regarding multiple future picks. With Love, LeBron James, and Kyrie Irving inked to financially crippling max contracts after 2014-2015, the Cavaliers’ only chance to add young, inexpensive talent around their Big Three would be the through the draft.

That Minny reportedly prefers Chicago’s offer to Cleveland’s is unsurprising if somewhat confounding. It’s been widely assumed since Love talks intensified that team President and Head Coach Flip Saunders prefers a deal that would keep the Timberwolves competitive as opposed to one that begins a re-building process. The prudence of that position is certainly debatable given the incredible strength of the Western Conference, not to mention the seemingly limitless potential of Wiggins, but that’s the road all signs have pointed to Saunders wanting to take.

The Bulls’ package is actually a nice combination of immediate help and long-term promise. Gibson emerged as one of basketball’s best two-way bigs last season, combining his elite, all-court defense with a suddenly burgeoning low post-game. He’s no superstar, but provided enough offensive juice in 2013-2014 to suggest he could be a solid tertiary scorer on a good team.

McDermott thrived in Las Vegas Summer League play for Chicago, showing off his well-known long-range marksmanship in addition to a floor game that belies his surface reputation as a stand-still shooter. He wasn’t overwhelmed athletically, either, despite playing the vast majority of his time on the wing. The actual NBA game is a different animal than Summer League, of course, but McDermott quelled any concerns that he’d bust as a professional in Las Vegas.

Mirotic is more of an unknown than McDermott. The 6-10 forward won the ACB (Spanish League) MVP award as a 22 year-old in 2013 and the Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) MVP this past season with Real Madrid. A skilled big man capable of putting the ball on the deck and stretching the floor from beyond the arc, the biggest concerns with Mirotic center around his merely solid athleticism. Still, ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla recently told ESPN 1000 that Mirotic “would have been in the top [few picks]” of the 2014 draft.

Don’t get too excited though, Bulls fans (or ‘Wolves fans) – no deal between the teams is close to imminent. As with rumors about Wiggins’ inclusion by the Cavaliers, there’s conflicting information to Sheridan’s report.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune casts doubt on the possibility of Gibson being dealt to Minnesota, even noting that the 2013-2014 Sixth Man of the Year runner-up is comfortable coming off the bench behind the recently acquired Pau Gasol.

Jerry Zgoda of Minneapolis’ Star Tribune offers similar skepticism, this time with regard to the Bulls bringing Mirotic over from Europe.

However, it also bears mentioning that Sheridan was the first reputable reporter to go on record with a source that said James was returning to Cleveland. Misinformation rules the day in potential player movement, but Sheridan has clearly proven himself a worthy prognosticator. There’s also a chance his source is floating him fabricated intel.

There are multiple teams and multiple individual players that have decided agendas with regard to Love, and we won’t know the veracity of each rumor and report until a deal is finally agreed upon. For now, though, the Bulls seem to have reemerged as a legitimate suitor for the ‘Wolves stranded superstar. And if Sheridan’s report is accurate, Chicago could be his likeliest destination.

Which is a better trade package: Chicago’s or Cleveland’s?

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  • Carlos Sanchez

    If this happens, Chicago is the clear favorite in the NBA.

  • Steep Jaxson

    Love hasn’t played 82 games yet The Bulls will be very sorry if they give up McDermott

  • John Hurk

    Both ways i think Bulls are doing real good… If the deal with Kevin L. don´t work… next 5 Years the rookies and rest will be strong enough… Bulls have a great Coach that can form young players in his System… 321 go Bulls

  • John Hurk

    McDermott should be a top 3 Point shot player… GOLD Fingers !

  • Onaje

    Bulls right now are projected to be a top four team in the League…This would set them back in my opinion. It is the classic “Bird in hand is worth two in the bush….” thing…

    What are they getting that they are missing? Consistent rebounding? Nope they have that covered…A guy that truly stretches the floor? Nope covered…Defense…yeah right lol. Championship or even playoff pedigree…nope

    This is doing a move just to make it to front page…they only reason you make this move is if you think Derrick Roses career is about to be over and you need a new young star to build around…losing these pieces to add Love is a step back.

    I’m not a fan of Love going to the Cavs, but at least in their case Love would be filling a role that currently isn’t covered for sure.

    With all this Kevin Love talk he better be the missing piece for a team to at least get the Finals…I think the cost is too great

  • Onaje

    Yeah I don’t get everyone’s rush to tear apart their team to get Love…He is great, but clearly isn’t LeBron, Durant, level…

    I’m not saying it is all Kevin Love’s fault, but there is a reason the Wolves weren’t any good…Khan played a major role too

  • scot simpkins

    this is not good, for one we seem to always groom players and send the off and they do more or better with other teams that we could of used for our team. Taj gibson should not be an option at all. gar forman is horrible.

  • Steep Jaxson

    What they finding out in the summer league and what I had known all along. Doug can play. You don’t need to have blinding speed or jump forty feet in the Air if you can play ball…He can score from anywhere and smart enough to get to his spots..and athletic enough to get his shot off on anybody and play D… Seniors get knocked for being mature..But this dude should have been drafted very high…The Bulls got lucky, I wouldn’t give him away

  • Steep Jaxson

    And also. Who is to say he is going to stay Healthy…. the most he ever played was 71 games and that was his rookie year

  • Nicholas Guerra

    That’s insanity

  • Monkey D. Luffy

    Gibson,Mirotic and Mcdermott for Love????
    That is a big NO for me.. That’s too much….

  • SerbianIrishYankee

    Yes it’s a bluff, Bulls are just trying to get the Wolves to fleece the Cavs for Love. And it’s working.